Pesky telemarketers may finally be out of luck
By Mario Cywinski | June 23, 2008
We have all experienced the unpleasantness of a telemarketer calling during dinner, a family gathering, or even while sleeping. Luckily, soon this inconvenience may be a thing of the past, as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will be introducing a national do not call list (DNCL).
Currently, each telemarketer is expected to keep their own do not call lists. Where the problem for businesses and individuals arises is that with so many companies out there, you need to constantly inform different telemarketers to stop calling you.
Beginning September 30, 2008, the national DNCL will allow any landline, mobile, or fax numbers to be registered onto a national list that will be given to all telemarketers. In turn, they will not be allowed to call any number on that list.
Each person will be allowed to register three numbers on the list by calling a toll-free number, which will be released once the service is officially introduced. Online registration will also be available, as will the ability to register a fax number. For this a toll-free fax number will be implemented. After registering on the list, the number will be present for three years, at which point it will be taken off, and must be re-registered.
Interestingly, exceptions to who will use the National DNCL exist. Those who are exempt from having to follow the list are:
- registered charities;
- political parties;
- candidates of a political party;
- polling and market research firms who are not trying to sell a product; and
- newspaper who are trying to sell a subscription.
What is intriguing for businesses is that those who are considered to be calling business customers or have an existing business relationship with an individual are except from having to go by the list.
To make sure telemarketers do not slip through the cracks, the National DNCL operator (or an online option) will be responsible for taking any complaints that are filed. These will need to be filed up to 14 days after the call occurred.
The CRTC will require the following information to process any complaint:
- telephone number;
- name and/or number of the telemarketer;
- date of the telemarketing call;
- nature of the complaint; and
- whether the call was a fax, if so a copy of the fax will be required.
If the complaint is found to be valid, a fine may be imposed of up to $15,000 for an organization making the telemarketing calls, or $1,500 for any individuals.
The CRTC has said that the National DNCL will be free of charge for anyone wishing to use it.
Expect to see a more detailed outline of the list on CanadaOne, once it has been launched.
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